After several years as equipment and installation engineer at Western Electric Company, Wallace Cook joined George Rodormer in the then -small and virtually bankrupt Reliable Electric Company in 1915. Among his many inventions and contributions, he:
(1) Tested and pioneered the change from insulated cable plant to one with cable sheath bonded to protector grounds which virtually eliminated cable trouble from lightning and storms;
(2) Developed a discharge unit which did not leave the line grounded after heavy static discharges.
These two developments improved the reliability of telephone service in large areas of the country. The Bell System later adopted his concept.
Cook built Reliable Electric into a strong supplier of protective and terminal equipment for the Independent telephone industry. In 1938, his assistance was requested by the owners of Whitney Blake Company, an old supplier of telephone wire. This later resulted in the purchase, with his son, John Brown, of control of Whitney Blake. He also acquired an interest in Koiled Kords, Inc. and developed and marketed retractable cords, making them the standard of the industry.
Cook had many friends and his valuable counsel was always available to associates. He was a founding member of the Cook Foundation of Hamden , Conn., which provides a continuing fund to help meet the need for charitable contributions and college scholarships in the Reliable Electric Company and Whitney Blake Company communities. He died in 1958.